I'm interested in learning to scuba dive, but I'm not real sure where to start. How can I find a good place to learn? I don't want to learn from a "fly by night" school. I want to learn from experienced people where safety is the number one priority.

Also, I've heard so much about different certifications. I'm not sure how to evaluate these either. These are some of the certifications available where I live. Can somebody explain them to me, good or bad and why?

I'm from St. Paul, Minnesota if that helps.

Naui and Padi are the biggies in north america. They are all more or less the same in the quality of diver produced. If you want to give scuba a try and not lay out any cash, Padi has what's called Discover Scuba. It's free. Just sign up at a local Padi dive shop. You'll get some basic instruction and off you go in a pool, under an instructors supervision for 30 minutes or so. A great, cheap way to find out if you're going to like diving without a large cash outlay for a full course. This way, if you like it, shop around for a good dive shop and sign up for an open water course ( about 300 bucks, plus some basic equipment). If you don't like it, the only thing wasted was part of an afternoon.

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